The Planets
Wanderers Amongst The Stars

Planets the kings of the Solar System.

Mostly larger than any other object, except the Sun.

Each orbits the Sun alone, except for possibly a few moons.

And each occasionally gets a visit from a celestial neighbor such as a comet or asteroid.

The term comes from ancient astronomers who, lacking telescopes, noticed that five “stars” seemed to wander in relation to the other stars.

These five (Uranus and Neptune had yet to be discovered) became known as planets(meaning wanderer).

These worlds have become rounded by gravity and none cross the orbit of any other.

Unlike stars, which are various types of suns, they emit no light of their own only reflected light same as the Moon.

The names came from ancient Roman Gods with Greek influences:

Mercury(Hermes):fleet footed messenger of the gods.
Venus(Aphrodite):goddess of beauty.
Mars(Ares):fiery red god of war.
Jupiter(Zeus):king of the gods.
Saturn(Kronus):father of Jupiter.

Later after discovery in the 19th century the other 2 were named in similar fashion:

Uranus(Ouranos):father of Saturn.
Neptune(Poseidon):god of the sea.

Uranus and Neptune weren't discovered until after the invention of the telescope.

And yes, you too will need a telescope if you wish to see them yourself. Along with other deep sky objects such as Pluto.

Have a look at this one...

Orion XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope & Beginner Barlow Kit

In order from the Sun outward you find:

Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars

Known as the terrestrials as they have solid, rocky surfaces.

The next four:

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune

These are known as gas giants.

Uranus and Neptune are so cold they are also referred to as ice giants as a lot of their gases have frozen.

There are also over 850 worlds in other solar systems.

These are known as exo or extrasolar. Most of these are within our own Milky Way Galaxy, but some other galaxies harbor a few candidates as well.

The closest so far seems to be Alpha Centauri Bb. A world orbiting one of the 3 stars that make up Alpha Centauri, the brightest  star in the Centaurus constellation. This binary system plus Proxima Centauri are our closet neighbors and form the 3rd brightest star in the nighttime sky.


› PLANETS
Site Search Site Search
Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you The Celestial Solar System.
SBI Video Tour!
Stargazing For Beginners E-book!
Secrets Of The Deep-sky!

promo code 260826